Recommendations from the ICEO

February 12, 2015

To the members of the MIT community,
In April 2013, President Reif created the position of Institute Community and Equity Officer (ICEO). As the first person to hold this post, Professor Ed Bertschinger undertook an extensive listening tour across our campus, and he collected the many ideas into a number of findings and recommendations. Today, we wish to share this report, Advancing a Respectful and Caring Community: Learning by Doing at MIT, and to begin the process of collecting community feedback. You may read more about the report here.
Outlining what Professor Bertschinger learned and suggesting next steps, the report offers an encouraging view of many aspects of our life as community, while also detailing areas for further attention. A number of the ideas in the report would involve the whole community and require serious commitments of time and resources; as we consider the full suite of recommendations, we are eager for your insights and reactions.
Between now and April 15, I invite members of the MIT community to comment on the report by emailing At the end of the comment period, Professor Bertschinger will assess the incoming feedback and work with the relevant Institute leaders, including incoming Vice President for Human Resources Lorraine Goffe-Rush, as well as key stakeholders, to identify those recommendations MIT should focus on.
In the meantime, President Reif and I have asked Professor Bertschinger to begin to lay the groundwork for one of his major recommendations: that MIT assemble an Institute-wide committee, with appropriate representation from faculty, students, post-docs and staff, to draft an MIT Compact – “a brief statement of what we aspire to as a community and what we expect of each other as MIT community members.” In the best MIT tradition, this is an experiment. I am confident that this exercise in learning by doing will be of great value to our community.
I hope you will join me in thanking Professor Bertschinger for his initiative in leading us to consider many new ideas, and for his careful and comprehensive report.

Martin A. Schmidt